documentary hack

Abstract: Architecture

Bjarke Ingels, Scott Dadich, Morgan Neville

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Young visionary Bjarke Ingels shares his nontraditional approach to architecture, and how it made him a rare young success story in a cutthroat industry.


Abstract: Architecture

Abstract: Architecture

by Bjarke Ingels


Architecture is a notoriously difficult business to break into. If you've never designed a building to completion before, no one will hire you to do it: a catch-22 if ever there was one. Danish architect Bjarke Ingels beat some very unfavorable odds to enter the industry with a bang: he won a contest to design a housing complex in Ørestad, Copenhagen.

Ingels became head of design firm Bjarke Ingels Group – BIG – and has been named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. Operating worldwide, BIG has been at the forefront of sustainable architecture, and was instrumental in rebuilding New York City after Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012.

In this 2017 episode of the Netflix docuseries Abstract: the Art of Design, Ingels recalls how he disrupted industry traditions and employed unorthodox methodologies to get his foot in the door. Abstract: Architecture tells the story of a charismatic and unique architect who is leading the future of sustainable architecture.

Favorite quote

When architecture is at its best, you're coming up with something that is pure fiction and then after all the hard work and budgeting and construction, it now becomes concrete reality.

- Bjarke Ingels

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